Friday, November 05, 2021

Cessna 150M, N704HQ: Accident occurred November 04, 2021 in Margarettsville, Northampton County, North Carolina

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Location: Margarettsville, North Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22LA046
Date and Time: November 4, 2021, 19:30 Local 
Registration: N704HQ
Aircraft: Cessna 150M Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 4, 2021, at 1930 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N704HQ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Margarettsville, North Carolina. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal
Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that after descending to about 1,600 ft mean sea level, while on the localizer approach to runway 34 at the Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport (EMV), Emporia, Virginia, the engine began to “sputter.” He applied the carburetor heat, the engine “got a little surge of power,” and he pushed the carburetor heat back in (OFF). The engine sputtered again, and he re-applied the carburetor heat. He then raised the nose to gain altitude, and the engine stopped completely. He turned the airplane toward a road he had recently overflown, declared an emergency, and landed in the tree canopy about 10 nautical miles southeast of EMV.

A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat controls remained intact and functioned normally. Fuel drained from the carburetor was blue in color with no water or debris present. The top sparkplugs were removed, their electrodes were grey in color and appeared “worn normal” when compared to a Champion Check-a-Plug Chart.

Fuel was plumbed into to engine from an external fuel tank to the carburetor. The engine was primed, started, ran at idle without anomaly, and responded to throttle inputs.

The 1935 weather observations reported at EMV included a temperature 6°C and dew point of 5°C. A review of a carburetor icing probability chart revealed that in those conditions, the probability of carburetor icing was “serious” at cruise power. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N704HQ
Model/Series: 150M 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: EMV,127 ft msl 
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Wind
Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: St. Augustine, FL (SGJ) 
Destination: Emporia, VA (EMV)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 36.532803,-77.347262 (est)

The plane involved in Thursday night’s crash near Margarettsville is lowered from its precarious perch among some trees. The pilot was not injured.

MARGARETTSVILLE – First responders arrived at the scene of a plane stuck in the trees off of Highway 186 outside of Margarettsville on Thursday night and managed to safely rescue the pilot.

The incident occurred on Nov. 4 with first responders being paged out around 8:16 p.m., according to Northampton County Emergency Management Coordinator Tony Burnette. Northampton EMS and Seaboard Volunteer Fire Department were the first ones on the scene.

“The pilot was coming from Florida, and he said he was enroute to Emporia [VA],” Burnette told the News Herald on Friday morning. “He lost power eight nautical miles away from Emporia, and he glided for about five miles.”

By the time he reached Highway 186, the plane crashed into some trees and became lodged about 30 feet in the air.

“He was able to call it in that he had trouble, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was able to get another plane over him that saw him go in,” Burnette continued. “That plane hovered over him and was able to guide the searchers in to his location. That portion of 186 in Margarettsville is pitch black dark out there. Telephone communication out there is really spotty.”

Burnette did not identify the pilot, but said they were able to communicate with him while he was still up in the air. The pilot reported being cold but uninjured.

The Weldon Volunteer Fire Department provided a ladder truck with a bucket which was able to reach the pilot and safely bring him back to the ground.

“I would like to thank all our first responders for doing an outstanding job and helping save someone’s life last night,” Burnette said.

He thanked responders which included Seaboard Volunteer Fire Department, Northampton EMS, Gaston Volunteer Fire Department, Roanoke Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department, NC Highway Patrol, NC Emergency Management Services, members of the FAA, Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, Weldon Volunteer Fire Department, and Northampton County Communications.

Burnette also had a special thanks for Clements Mechanical. They worked to dislodge the plane from the trees, bring it safely back to the ground, and transport it from the scene. Once the plane was clear, Burnette said they were able to open Highway 186 back up to traffic, at approximately 1:30 a.m.

The FAA will conduct an investigation into the incident.

“I would say he [the pilot] was the luckiest man in Northampton County last night. God was with him,” Burnette added. “From my viewpoint, I’m just happy with the work that was done last night in helping to rescue this gentleman.”


  1. Looks like it could have been fuel starvation. Flight time was over 5 hours.

    1. This 150 had an extended range tank that added 14.6 gallons for fuel giving this little 150 a total usable of 35.1 gallons.

  2. Possible pressing in his return to NY. Flightaware 'ACTIVITY LOG for N704HQ,' 11 flights and est 30 hours along the east coast from 28 Oct to date. NY to Fl, and Nassau, and then return north.

  3. That's a dilemma. "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing." Well this guy was able to walked away and the airplane hadn't landed yet.